For those of you who read this regularly (or sometimes), you know what this last eighteen months has been like. There have been highs and lows...lots of lows! Since Javad's seizure, I feel like I have been living in a fog. Work has been rough, home has been rough, life...has been rough. Javad's healing from that fateful day has been slow...sometimes painfully slow. Throughout his life, I have tried hard not to ask for more...ask for things that seem unreasonable but when it comes to your children, it's hard. When it come to Javad, it's especially hard. He just has gotten some crummy breaks, times when it feels like we are moving one step forward, then a zillion steps backwards. It can be hard not to feel a bit defeated. I think the winds of change are coming...I feel it!

This weekend I walked Portland to Coast for the second time with a group of amazing women! Last year, we were somewhat strangers...every one of us knowing someone on the team, but not necessarily more than that. By the end of the race, we were bonded...laughing and (not) sleeping over the course of 24 hours. There was no question that we would walk again this year. Year two is in the books, we saw (and talked to) Kevin Hart, we laughed and brought food for days. We cheered our team (and others too!). We chatted up Volunteers (who were amazing) and thanked others for being there. It was awesome...

I drove home this morning to attend the Portland Timbers game. My parents had purchased this package at an auction at my sisters' school, Christ the King. I got to hang out with John Canzano for the game and had an experience far beyond expected. I know Anna Canzano from the past (a story done on Javad years ago) so it was extra special to meet John. I can't even describe how amazing this experience was. I got a press pass (with my picture) and sat in the press box. No cheering or chanting allowed, but I did have the giraffe...I take it's Javad. He is where my strength comes from. He is the reason I need to get stronger, get better, be healthier.

I was getting the tour pre-game and John noticed Nat Borchers in one of the boxes. If you know anything about me, you know how much I love Nat. He is such a quality human, amazing player, incredible representative of our city and what it means to put family first. I have been in awe of him since he came to the Timbers. I have a picture with him...and his son. It made me smile! Anyway, I digress. I told John how much I liked Nat and that I wanted to give him a StandTall scarf. He has had a rough patch, he is on the mend but mostly, his part in the Timbers win last year is part of my journey too!

Nat let me tell Javad's story. To be honest, I didn't plan for this day to be about Javad too, but I guess so much about the Timbers and Javad is intertwined. He listened and told me about his godson, then asked if he could come see Javad some time. I was floored. Seems Javad will have a visitor soon!

Then, while getting food, I was chatting with the GM of the Sounders (really...I just found that out. Thank you I'm even more floored!). I was harassing him a bit about the fact that his pass had the Timbers logo (I had met him briefly on my tour...clearly wasn't listening fully...I was a bit overwhelmed by it all!) and ended up telling him my story after he asked. He was so genuine, caring, and kind. He wiped tears from his eyes and thanked me for sharing...he wished us luck and said he would continue to keep Javad in his thoughts. As I am writing this I am kind of blown away by it all!

I watched the game from above...silently cheered from the box. I took my shoes off so I could tap my feet to the chants from the North End. Javad the Giraffe watched from the ledge and we (silently) cheered our boys to a 4-2 victory...totally epic! The day wasn't done...after the game, it was down to watch the coaches interviews (pretty cool!), then into the locker room. I complimented Alvas Powell on his great game, and had a great sit down conference with Jake Gleeson, said hi to Ridgewell, shook Barmby's hand and had a brief conversation, capping it all with a great sit down chat with Steven Taylor. I know I am writing this all, but I can't even sum up how amazing it all was.

This year....I think it's time for it to move out of my space. As my Facebook feed is blowing up with the story being tagged, I feel so loved and supported. There is an Army behind me. I am so appreciative of John for highlighting that as well. I am not doing this alone...I have never felt that more than I did today. I didn't sit with the Army, but today...they were with me...up in the Press Box, with the giraffe. I have never stopped believing...there is a star to prove it! #giraffestrong

Here's John's story from Oregon Live: "If you want to be Press Box Army, you already are"


  1. Thanks for sharing your life with us! keep on going and we will stand with you.


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